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When collectors got our first look at 1989 Upper Deck baseball cards — which was in 1988 for some of us — we were in love.

Here were the cards we’d been begging for all through the 1980.

Thick, premium white cardstock …

Gorgeous photography, front and back …

Simple design that helped the eye linger on said photography …

Even new tamper-proofing and anti-counterfeit methods to help combat what many saw as growing problems in the hobby.

It was amazing.

And then …

We saw the price tag — yowsa!

But, though we complained about the sticker shock of *new* packs that cost well over a buck each, collectively we just swallowed hard and shelled out for the privilege of the fancy new baubles.

Then asked for more and more and more.

Indeed, 1989 Upper Deck set a standard that the other card companies scrambled to match, which led to an explosion of card issues and card innovations in the 1990s and beyond.

Eventually, Upper Deck settled into the woodwork with the rest of the melee, something of a victim of its own success, then finally rode off into the (baseball) sunset in 2010.

Still, UD kept pumping out the cards for more than two decades after their Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card lit the hobby on fire, and all those cards still hold a cherished place in collections around the world.

Ready to read more details about Upper Deck baseball cards? Check out our complete list of UD articles below, and come back often — we’re always adding and updating!